Budget Friendly Alternative Artwork Ideas

Need something large and inexpensive to hang on a blank wall in your room? You don’t have to hang a painting or a print. There are lots of unique things you can hang on your walls that don’t have to break your budget.

It can take a lot of time and money to build up art that you really love. Art is so personal that it seems to take longer to buy than anything else for your home.

If you want something you can hang up that isn’t the perfect piece of art in the mean time, try one of these alternatives to the traditional artwork for your walls.

Tapestries as Art

Tapestries aren’t just for hippies or those who love the boho look. Hanging a tapestry can be a great way to get a large piece of art without spending a lot of money. There are some amazing tapestries at Society 6 and on Etsy.

  • Watercolor bouquet tapestry – This comes in three sizes. The largest is 88 x 104 inches for s only $68. That’s huge.
  • Blue Boho tapestry from Society 6 – This one also comes in three sizes and the larges it 88 x 104 for $68.
  • Japanese style tapestry from SpankerSpace on Etsy – There are nine different Japanese inspired tapestries in multiple sizes. The 59 x 79 inch size is only $20.
  • World map tapestry from wfrancisdesign on Etsy – This comes in many sizes and the 68 x 80 is $57.

Baskets as Art

Baskets as artwork can have a very boho, worldly look or a coastal, beach feel. If you feel nervous about finding a group of baskets that look good together there are sellers on Etsy that will deliver a group of baskets that work well together.

Otherwise, don’t worry too much, they are so inexpensive that you can hang them up and see what you like. If you don’t like it rearrange.

  • Wave basket on Etsy from wickercase.
  • This Etsy seller, wakeuprinserepeat, does all the work for you. You can get this set of 10 baskets in one order for $98 and they even have a splash of color.
  • This basket from RodinneKoloUA comes in different sizes and colors. The seller makes all kinds of baskets by hand.

Hats as Art

Here’s a great example of a blogger that took a collection of straw hats and made them into a work of art.

If you live in Texas, as I do, there are lots of really great weathered cowboy hats which can make a cool display. You can also hang baseball caps in a kids room, playroom or den, especially if you are really into sports.

Empty Frames as Art

Frames themselves can be art, even if there’s nothing in them. For this to work you can’t use regular frames from Target. You need frames that have texture and character, but they don’t have to be old.

There are different ways to approach empty frames. You can pick up a bunch of used frames at yard sales and flea markets and paint them to match. You can also choose a bunch of different colored frames with a similar look to them and hang them in a grouping.

If you don’t have time to collect these, you can search on Etsy and there are sellers that sell frames already grouped. If you want a more modern look, hang simpler frames in a group.

  • This Etsy seller RenovRestorations sells different color combinations, along with different numbers of frames.
  • Another Etsy seller, MollyMcshabby, also sells different styles of frames already grouped in different colors.

Music and Musical Instruments as Art

Do you play an instrument? If so, you may not feel like hanging up your guitar is the best way to store it. That’s probably true. But maybe you have an old guitar that you never play. You can also find used instruments at garage sales and flea markets.

Hanging an instrument or more than one adds a dimension to your room that a flat piece of art can’t. There are wall mount hangers for instruments on Amazon, like this one.

guitar mount for your wall

Clocks as Art

I’ve talked before about my love of clocks. We have one in every room. I don’t just like to know what time it is, I really like the feeling that a clock can add to a space. You can read more about using clocks as art here.

You can hang one clock or a grouping of clocks. This is the large clock that hangs in my kitchen.

Clock hanging in the kitchen

Maps as Art

Vintage maps can look really amazing hung on the wall even unframed. Etsy (no surprise) is a great place to find these. You can also find great deals at your local flea market or thrift store. If there’s a country or city you like to visit you can search for a vintage map of that location and that makes it extra special.

vintage map artwwork

Wallpaper as art

Wallpaper is IN Style again in 2019. There are so many beautiful wallpapers, but if you don’t want to commit to wallpaper an entire wall you can use wallpaper in a frame to get the pattern in a smaller way.

There are a few ways to use wallpaper as art. The simplest way, is just to slip the wall paper inside a frame. You don’t have to unstick it, just slide it into the frame like a print. This also makes it easy to swap out if you get tired of the wallpaper. See a bunch of wallpaper framing examples here.

The other option is to hang a piece of the wallpaper on the wall, or pieces depending on how big of a space you want to cover. You can nail moldings up around the wallpaper for an inexpensive frame.


If you have lots of blank walls in your home or apartment, there are some inexpensive alternatives to prints and paintings. Hanging something that is more out of the ordinary can give your room a unique feeling that you can’t get from a print that you find at Walmart or Target. Don’t get me wrong I love Target and Walmart, but not so much for artwork.

budget friendly artwork ideas

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